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Japanese Entertainers

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A Quick Tip by Sharrie

  • Nov 2, 2009
  • by
Geisha to many seems out of this world. We are enthralled, fascinated & captured! See them perform the tea ceremony when you've a chance :-)
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review by . September 16, 2009
posted in Go Japan
Geisha Express
The cherry blossom season is most beautiful in the city of Kyoto.   I missed many years of cherry blossoms due to global warming & mistiming. In 2006, I finally made it back to Kyoto, the ancient capital where all things ancient & conventional can still be experienced in this city.       A year ago before my last visit to Kyoto,  "Memoirs of a Geisha" brought back the urge to revisit this elegant city where geishas & maikos dwell. …
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Sharrie ()
Ranked #3
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Geisha (芸者?)Geiko (芸子?) or Geigi (芸妓?) are traditional, female Japanese entertainers whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music and dance.

Geisha (pronounced /ˈɡeɪʃә/), like all Japanese nouns, has no distinct singular or plural variants. The word consists of two kanji (gei) meaning "art" and 者 (sha) meaning "person" or "doer". The most literal translation of geisha into English would be "artist" or "performing artist". Another name for geisha used in Japan is geiko, which is usually used to refer to geisha from Western Japan, including Kyoto.

Apprentice geisha are called maiko (舞子 or 舞妓, literally "dance child") or hangyoku (半玉), "half-jewel" (meaning that they are paid half the wage as opposed to a full geisha), or by the more generic term o-shaku (御酌), literally "one who pours (alcohol)". Maikos' white make-up and elaborate kimono and hairstyle is the popular image held of geisha. A woman entering the geisha community does not have to start out as a maiko, having the opportunity to begin her career as a full geisha. Either way, however, usually a year's training is involved before debuting either as a maiko or as a geisha. A woman above 21 is considered too old to be a maiko and becomes a full geisha upon her initiation into the geisha community. However, those who...

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